We live in a beautiful part of Canada, with lots of wide-open countryside at our doorstep, and my husband and I both enjoyed camping when we were young. But after many years living a comfortable suburban life, roughing it hasn’t held that much appeal. Since my parents recently decided to become snowbirds, however, their motorhome was sitting idle, and so we began to talk about purchasing it for our own use.
Thus began a foray into motorhome insurance research.
Doing your due diligence with regards to insurance is something you need to do before you buy a vehicle, not after. We learned that the hard way when, after a couple speeding tickets and a small fender-bender, my husband tried to insure his new truck with his slightly muddied driving record. It was so costly we nearly rethought our decision, but thankfully the demerits were about to come off (two years were close to up), so we managed.
We didn’t want our potential vacation home on the road to be a source of stress, so we called our broker for some advice.
Insurance protects your vehicle…but what about its contents?
Most motorhome insurance policies contain some form of built-in coverage for the items and valuables you keep in your vehicle, but before you sign off, make sure you understand what the coverage limit is. Default reimbursement limits for valuables usually hover around the $5,000 mark, with options to increase.
One thing to keep in mind: home insurance (or renters insurance) will also supplement your coverage for the valuables in your motohome. Home insurance policies extend to items that are not physically inside your home, so long as you carefully itemize your valuables and regularly update your insurance provider. The very best coverage for your motorhome is a combination of RV and home insurance.
And if you’re going to be carrying expensive possessions in your motorhome with you, you may need to purchase additional riders for high-value items (we did so for our bikes, which we picture ourselves bringing on many trips). The best thing to do is discuss your situation with your insurance provider.
When it comes to personal property, also be aware of the distinction between replacement cost and actual cash value (ACV) insurance. Replacement cost coverage takes factors like appreciation and depreciation into account, covering you for the amount of money it would take to replace a used item. Actual cash value covers you for the amount of money it would take to buy the damaged or stolen item new, and is generally recommended by providers.
Coverage limits for travelling near and far
Your motorhome insurance may also have limits that depend on where you’re travelling and how long you’ll be away. Generally speaking, if your trip will be less than 30 days and you’re staying in your home province, you won’t have to worry about coverage gaps. But if you’re planning to go far away for longer or for an extended period of time – like we hope to do next summer – you should definitely give your insurance provider a call.
Share the details of your trip, and don’t hold back because you’re worried about having to spend money on supplemental insurance. The extra protection will be worth every penny if you’re in California or Arizona and your motorhome is stolen or damaged.
Extended coverage considerations
Motorhome insurance also comes with a lot of different extended coverage options.
- Consider campsite/vacation liability coverage; motorhomes are, above all, recreational vehicles, and this type of protection is designed to safeguard from losses and damage suffered at vacation destinations and campgrounds.
- If you’re going to be bringing other vehicles with you, like boats or cars, they may need separate coverage. Be sure to discuss your specific situation with your insurance provider.
- Think about storage, too. Where is your motorhome parked when you’re not using it, and will it still be protected by the plan you’re considering? Find out before committing.
We took the plunge and purchased my parents’ motorhome at a great price, and are now both taking lessons on how to drive a larger vehicle. After my husband’s experience, we are both very careful to keep our driving records as clean as possible, which results in great coverage at affordable premiums.